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Expansion Vibration Lipofilling: A New Technique in Large-Volume Fat Transplantation

Del Vecchio, Daniel, M.D., M.B.A.; Wall, Simeon, Jr., M.D.

Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery: May 2018 - Volume 141 - Issue 5 - p 639e–649e
doi: 10.1097/PRS.0000000000004338
Cosmetic: Original Articles
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Background: Despite rapid growth, gluteal fat transplantation is an operation in search of science and a teachable technique. Long operating times, tedious syringe transfers, inability to shape the recipient site, and the risk of fat embolism all headline as impediments to clinical adoption of the procedure. Expansion vibration lipofilling is a syringe-free surgical strategy that is a logical extension of Separation, Aspiration, and Fat Equalization (SAFELipo). In expansion vibration lipofilling, there is simultaneous disruption of recipient-site connective tissue, internal expansion using exploded-tip cannulas, and backfilling of these spaces with roller pump–propelled fat.

Methods: Two thousand four hundred nineteen consecutive cases of expansion vibration lipofilling fat transplantation to the buttocks were reviewed. Average follow-up was 12 months. The technique of expansion vibration lipofilling is dependent on the use of larger caliber cannulas attached to a roller pump and to an oscillatory power-assisted liposuction device, which is less labor-intensive, potentially allowing for better knowledge of cannula-tip location at all times during the procedure.

Results: Operating times averaged 1 hour 40 minutes. The average volume of fat inserted was 1003 cc. Complications included donor-site seroma, infection, and one pulmonary embolism treated with anticoagulation. There were no cases of fat embolism or death.

Conclusions: Expansion vibration lipofilling is a new method for large-volume fat transplantation. Avoidance of fatal fat emboli demands a surgeon’s complete knowledge of cannula tip location at all times during the procedure. Syringe-free, larger caliber, and less flexible cannulas, combined with techniques requiring less operator upper extremity effort resulting in less fatigue, may contribute to avoidance of this dreadful complication.

CLINICAL QUESTION/LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Therapeutic, IV.

Boston, Mass.; and Shreveport, La.

From the Department of Plastic Surgery, Massachusetts General Hospital; the Department of Plastic Surgery, University of Texas Southwestern; and the Department of Surgery, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center at Shreveport.

Received for publication September 20, 2016; accepted September 13, 2017.

Disclosure: Dr. Del Vecchio and Dr. Wall both own equity in Surgistem Technologies, a developer of surgical instruments used in liposuction and fat transfer.

Daniel Del Vecchio, M.D., Back Bay Plastic Surgery, 38 Newbury Street, Boston, MA 02116, dandelvecchio@aol.com

©2018American Society of Plastic Surgeons